The number of people keeping backyard yard chickens is sky rocketing right now as chickens are far more low maintenance than most people initially think.
They are a great source of cheap, free range eggs and if you have a vegetable patch, they will also eat a huge number of pests helping your veggies thrive too.
Although chickens are generally low maintenance to care for, every now and then, we do see some people have problems with their birds causing them to reach out and ask for advice.
One thing that we have noticed a number of people asking about recently is if a chicken can have a stroke or not.
After seeing so many people asking about this, we decided to publish this article going over the topic to try and help as many of our readers as possible who are worried about their chicken having a stroke.
There are a number of different issues that can affect chickens and give them symptoms similar to a stroke.
Due to this, we would always recommend that you get professional advice from a vet if possible as the information in this article is intended for information purposes only.
Can A Chicken Have A Stroke?
Chickens can definitely have a stroke just like any other animal.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply of a chicken is restricted to the brain causing a stroke to start occurring in the chicken.
Just like with humans, a stroke is a very serious problem that poses a very real risk to your chicken and it is unlikely that there won’t be any long term heal issues with the bird, and fatalities can be high.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Stroke In A Chicken?
Here is our short list of the main symptoms of a stroke in a chicken to look out for:-
- Tilting Of The Head!
- Unable To Walk Correctly!
- Unable To Stand Up!
- Inability To Hold One Wing Correctly!
Most chickens that have had a stroke will usually have more than one of those symptoms at the same time, in some chickens, they will have every symptom.
As we mentioned above though, many chickens will, unfortunately, die quickly after having a stroke so there will be no symptoms to look out for.
Tilting Of The Head!
One of the most common and easily recognizable signs that your chicken may have had a stroke is if it starts tilting its head to one side.
The chicken will often be unable to move its head back to its normal position and will hold it tilted for long periods of time.
In addition to the head tilting to one side, it may also tilt forward or backward while being over to one side too.
This is an obvious symptom to see in your chicken due to it being such an unnatural way for your chicken to hold its head.
Unable To Walk Correctly!
If your chicken has had a stroke, it will often find it hard to walk correctly.
The chicken may start to stagger and fall over while trying to walk as its balance and coordination will have been affected by the stroke.
In addition to this, you may also notice that your chicken is dragging one of its legs when it tries to walk.
In less serious cases, your chicken may sway from side to side or walk as a drunk human may walk rather than being able to walk in a straight line.
Unable To Stand Up!
As well as struggling to walk, a chicken that has had a stroke often won’t be able to stand up at all.
The chicken may try and get up but will quickly fall over due to its balance being affected.
The bird may be so weak that it is just not able to stand up or move at all after a stroke too or that they are only able to move one side of their body.
If they are trying to move their body then you may see that they may only be able to move one wing after your chicken has had a stroke.
Inability To Hold One Wing Correctly!
Another common symptom of a stroke in chickens is that it will not be able to maintain the correct wing posture for both wings.
The most common visible symptom of this is that one wing will usually hang lower than the other wing on the bird.
In some cases, the chicken won’t even be able to keep the affected wing against its body and the wing will just be free hanging.
As you can imagine, this is an obvious symptom in a chicken that even an inexperienced chicken keeper will be able to quickly and easily identify.
One of the more common symptoms that you will see in a chicken that has had a stroke is that it will become very lethargic and tired.
The chicken may just lay down and not move much at all due to its weakness from the stroke.
In some cases, the chicken may sleep for long periods of time and not be very active at all.
This lethargy is often one of the first symptoms that you will see in a chicken that has had a stroke so it is one to look out for early on.
What Causes A Stroke In A Chicken?
There are many different things that can cause a stroke in your chicken and it is often hard to identify the exact cause in each individual case.
The most common cause of a stroke in chickens is usually due to an infection in the brain or a blockage of one of the arteries leading to the brain.
Other causes can include things like head trauma, tumors, and poisoning.
In many cases, the exact cause of the stroke will never be known as there are just so many different things that can cause it.
How To Prevent A Stroke In Your Chicken?
There is no guaranteed way to prevent a stroke in your chicken but there are some things that you can do to try and reduce the risk.
The best thing that you can do is to try and keep your chickens healthy and free from any diseases or infections.
You can do this by ensuring that they have a good quality diet and that their living conditions are clean and free from any potential hazards.
In addition to this, you should also make sure that you isolate any sick chickens from the rest of the flock to help stop the spread of disease.
Finally, you should also have your chickens checked by a vet on a regular basis to ensure that they are healthy and free from any potential problems.
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent a stroke in your chicken, following these simple steps will help to reduce the risk.
How To Treat A Chicken That Has Had A Stroke?
If you think that your chicken has had a stroke then it is important to seek professional help from a vet as soon as possible.
They will be able to carry out some tests to confirm if the chicken has indeed had a stroke and if so, they will be able to provide the necessary treatment.
In most cases, the best thing that you can do for your chicken is to provide it with some supportive care.
This means making sure that it has access to food and water and that its living conditions are clean and comfortable.